“Debt free na ako, pwede na akong mag-invest…”
These are the words I told my friend a few years ago.
Unfortunately, a member of my family got ill again. My mother was diagnosed with cancer which later on complicated to multiple organ failures. Multiple critical illnesses happened to her thrice since 2009. And because of her continuing medication and hospitalization, we were forced to sell our business and a parcel of land to cover all the costs. Even my younger sister was forced to stop going to school.
To keep up with the huge hospital expenses, we learned we had to ask assistance from different government institutions. We also had to borrow a total that reached three million pesos to cover all the medical procedures. It only happened to just one family member but the implications were certainly catastrophic to the entire family.
I can still vividly recall those days when my mother is waiting for her doctor at Philippine General Hospital…. and I was feeling sorry because I couldn’t bring her to a private hospital for better care. It’s one of the most heartbreaking moments for me.
When my mother died, I found out a note in our cabinet while fixing things at home. It is a handwritten retirement plan of my mother. Apparently, my mother made a plan a year before her 60th birthday. By then, she must have realized that she needed to rebuild her finances after it was depleted by this unplanned circumstances.
As a daughter and the eldest child, it was heartbreaking for me to go through that… always asking “How could I help?” My personal fund was similarly exhausted due to my own financial needs. Only later that I found out that there is a ready solution for these life-turning challenges — to be protected by insurance.
Realizing this, I one day told myself, “I don’t want the same thing to happen to others anymore; not to my friends and to every Filipino I will encounter.” Years later, I joined a financial services company to advance this cause. Having experienced the mistakes of my parents, I have now helped many people to avoid them from that painful experience.
Preparation is half of the battle.
I hope that reading this will inspire and remind you of the importance of beginning as early as possible. While young, it’s always a much better choice to get ready for your future medication and start creating your retirement fund while you still can. Times is your best ally when doing this.
And this preparation doesn’t have to be big.
Small consistent efforts done at the present will pay off in the long run.
Start to set aside a portion of your money that can fit your budget.
Spread this message and with your help, let’s unite in helping every Filipino household to have stable finances and ensure a stress-free life in our retirement age – for us and for our family!